Hello there, Gentle Reader, today I am going to talk to you about Savatage’s song, “The Wake of Magellan.” Well, not really, but what I have to say today starts with that song.
I have been listening to a lot of 80s and 90s music lately, and came upon this old classic metal piece by one of the 80’s and 90’s most memorable metal bands (today, many of the band’s former members are in the Trans Siberian Orchestra). It is named “The Wake of Magellan,” and is about a sailor in the days of tall wooden ships, who is contemplating leaving the horrifying world he lives in and just sailing off into the ocean, leaving the world of humans behind, even if it means his death.
One of the lyrics in it really resonated with me: “Don’t hear the sound of tyrants / Surrounded by the silence.” This describes my own approach to life in this world. My life growing up was rough. I’ve never had a place in the human world, and have frequently been told, often violently, that I don’t belong in it. As a young man, I decided to agree with the people who kept telling me this, and left the human world as far behind as I could. In the decades since, I have lived on its margins, having as little to do with it as possible.
There’s another lyric in that song that really stood out to me when I recently revisited this song: “As I contemplate this stand / What I do / Is who I am.” And that is a true statement. That is a very, very true statement. In fact, it’s a downright Odinic statement.
I have always looked with suspicion on people who form their identities around labels that just happen to apply to them. Like people who are all about (and so very proud of) being white, or American, or Fundamentalist, or what have you. These things require no effort, understanding, or sacrifice. If they were food, they would be candy: all sugar, no nutrients. They are nothing more than cheap, effortless ways to feel pride.
That is truly pathetic. What kind of a loser gets their entire sense of pride and identity out of an accident of birth, something that he or she did nothing at all to earn? This is not what Odin teaches. Odin values people who DO things. Warriors, conquerors, heroes, leaders, poets, adventurers, they are all people who are defined by what they DO, not by some meaningless accident of birth. Odin values ACCOMPLISHMENT, and the kinds of people who get their identities from actually DOING things. And that is as it should be. It is only accomplishment that deserves respect. I have lived my life on this principle.
As that song also says, when you’re out on the ocean, you “Don’t see the storms are forming.”
I @&^%$! hate the human world. ESPECIALLY its politics. So I have lived like Odin does, wandering outside that world, only coming back to it once in a while. I have wanted this blog to mostly be about spiritual matters. With some exceptions, I have tried not to get too caught up in current political matters. They are not concerns of my world.
However, the dumpster fire that is currently the modern world, particularly America, has become too big to ignore. And what I do is who I am. Even if the people of the world are not my people, I cannot ignore them while things are like this. So this old sailor is heading back to shore, and the sound of tyrants.
There is little I can do, practically speaking. I am poor, and mostly caught up in a struggle to survive, which is not easy to do living outside the human world. But I do have a platform here, and some kind of audience, however small. And there are voices in the heathen world saying and doing some truly awful things right now. So I have a duty to take a stand. Maybe my voice can reach one or two young ones before they are taken in by alt right Folkie bullshit.
Wake up people. We no longer have to worry about the American government turning into an authoritarian regime because it ALREADY IS ONE. “President” Trump brought in the military to teargas and shoot at peaceful protesters with rubber bullets, American citizens who were exercising their First Amendment rights, just so he could cross the street to have a photo op in front of a church.
THIS IS WHAT AUTHORITARIANISM LOOKS LIKE, PEOPLE!
Trump and his nine-times-damned group of supporters and enablers are traitors. They care nothing for the people, for the Constitution, for the law, for basic human decency, or for anything else. I don’t give a damn about the rigged Senate “trial.” Anyone with half a brain knows Trumpy sold this country out to the Russians in the last election. We heard the tapes ourselves. With my own ears, I heard him invite the Russians to use hackers to alter the course of the 2016 election, just like everyone else did. He betrayed this country to a foreign hostile power, and the damn Republicans stood by and did nothing.
With my own ears I heard him try to pretend the coronavirus now ravaging our world was a Democratic hoax, and use that as an excuse to refuse to take the steps that could have prevented this plague from spreading like wildfire across this country. More than 100,000 Americans have since died preventable, pointless deaths. That’s more than 33 September 11ths, FFS! And the Republicans provided cover for him, helping him shirk his duties to the American people, all so they could try to jolly the stock market into staying high so they could win the next election and keep their cushy jobs. Trump betrayed the country, and tens of thousands of Americans died as a result. Their blood is on his hands, and no two ways about it.
I have watched him push policies that crush poor people, especially non-white poor people, making their lives unbearable, policies that militarize police, encourage racist police policies, and make the police completely immune from accountability. I watched him, and his Republican cronies, worsen the conditions that led to George Floyd’s death. And when, as is completely predictable for any group of people pushed beyond all limits of endurance, social unrest followed, his response is to go for Kent State mk. II.
And here we are, people. The “President” is speaking of American streets as a battleground, sending troops to illegally attack innocent civilians exercising their Constitutional rights and is threatening to do worse. He is trying to cut unemployment benefits and prevent financial support for anyone who isn’t rich in order to force poor people back into dangerous work places, where thousands more WILL die from the coronavirus, so he can goose the economy and win reelection. He is trying to keep in place the racist laws and policies that killed George Floyd and so many others, ensuring that there will be so many more. Hel, he’s trying to make them worse! And they only have the political power to do this because of decades of truly un-American shenanigans such as gerrymandering and other forms of voter suppression. They cannot win democratic elections, so they have subverted the democratic process. The Republicans have actually lost every election for a LONG time now. They only keep getting into power by profoundly un-American and anti-democratic political tricks.
We are in a battle for America. Trump and his supporters are traitors. Traitors to America, and traitors to the human race. They obey no law. If they are not stopped, NOW, this country will become fully, openly a tin pot dictatorship, with the last remnants of the democracy this country once was swept aside.
I used to hate the Democratic and Republican parties equally. I used to see them as equally criminal. I still see the Democrats as criminal, but they are still criminal in the ordinary, pedestrian way that politicians have always been criminal. The Republicans, however, have slid into outright cartoonish super-villainy.
I $%^#! hate the Democrats. They’re a bunch of corporate shills and liars who don’t believe in the things they say, by and large. They use people to get elected, and then forget about their promises to any but the rich. But I am still getting out there in November and voting a straight Democratic ticket. It’s become a matter of survival. Look around you. This is what a country looks like just before collapse.
I am $%%@ angry. And if you’re not, then you’ve either had your head shoved firmly up your ass for some time now, or you’re one of the people I’m angry at. Trump is a traitor. His enablers in Congress are traitors. And if, after all of this, you still support him, then you’re a traitor too. And in that case, don’t bother writing to me with your arguments, outrage, or vitriol. I will just delete your comments and ban you.
I do not hear the words of traitors.
And because this world is effed up enough that this still needs saying:
BLACK LIVES MATTER.